The Metro system is an essential component for growth and prosperity in Arlington County, but decades of underfunding and mismanagement have left the system in crisis. Standing by and watching the cycle of service cuts, fare hikes, and declining ridership is unacceptable. This is not a problem that can be deferred. As a member of the County Board, I will fight to turn this situation around by advocating for:
- A regional solution to Metro’s funding needs that guarantees the cost of fixing and maintaining the Metro system does not fall disproportionately on Arlington residents.
- A well thought out management plan that clearly shows our investment dollars are being used wisely.
- A new and dedicated funding source by July 2018 that will provide $500 million annually to meet Metro’s capital needs.
- A 3% cap on local governments annual subsidy increases, as proposed by the Metro General Manager.
- A coordinated effort by our Congressional delegation to continue the annual $150 million in federal funding for the Metro sytsem.
Deferring action on Metro repairs and maintenance is not an acceptable option. A way forward must be developed now to guarantee safety, provide the riding public with reliable, interconnected transit options that increase ridership, and control costs through sound business practices. As recent summits on this important challenge have shown, the negotiations to a solution with be tough. Arlington County is fortunate to have dedicated and savvy County Board members and the County Manager working together on our behalf. The public sector, government, and businesses must also have a role in developing a solution to the Metro system’s funding woes. On the County Board, I will bring my knowledge and expertise as a business owner and former member of the Transportation Commission to the table to save Metro.
While fixing Metro must be our first priority, it alone will not meet the transportation challenges of tomorrow. I support investing in a 21st Century transportation network - one that gives YOU and your neighbors the broadest range of choices possible, as you move around and beyond Arlington. While many of us go to work outside of Arlington every day -- and need good transit choices that cross jurisdictions-- we also all shop, eat, and play in Arlington. I know personally that having options that fit our diverse lifestyles is critical to our quality of life.
- As a busy parent, I know that the family car is sometimes the best carpool there is.
- As someone whose parent lives nearby, I know that ensuring she can drive easily to doctor appointments, shopping and places to meet friends is an important part of her independent lifestyle.
- As a member of the Doorways for Women and Families Board, I know that public transportation that is frequent and affordable is essential for our neighbors of lesser means.
- As a former civic association president, I know that it takes collaboration among neighbors - who may have diverse views - to create balance in parking, walking, biking and driving infrastructure as we improve safety on neighborhood streets.
- As busy Metro-corridor resident, I know how important it is for our quality of life that the County commit to and fund robust transit that comes every few minutes on efficient routes that connect grocery and drug stores, libraries, community centers and parks to our homes.
- Like every small business owner, I know how important it is for my company trucks to get to our clients quickly, minimizing costly drive time.
- And I know that those who bike or walk are getting great exercise, helping to reduce emissions and increasing Arlington's sustainability.
- As a former Transportation Commissioner, I worked to ensure that our Master Transportation Plan addressed both commuting and moving within Arlington.
As a County Board member I will:
- Champion opportunities to work with private the private sector to develop innovative, micro-pilot projects, such as Autonomous Vehicles for short-distance, multi-person routes.
- Fight to ensure that bus routes on Columbia Pike contribute to the achievement of our Main Street vision by providing frequent 6-10 minute service 18-hours a day, that provide transportation options for our diverse population;
- Explore transferring responsibility for bus service out of WMATA control to individual jurisdictions like Arlington;
- Support the creation in key locations of more dedicated bike lanes (e.g. N. Quincy, S. 9th and 12th streets) and at Capital BikeShare stations;
- Push the County to explore bus vendors who provide vehicles that are as quiet as possible, both inside the bus and on the street;
- Actively involve neighborhoods in the early review and discussion of the transportation projects included in the 10-year Capital Investment Plan (CIP).
COG Board of Directors Statement of Principles on Metro
I support the following principles adopted on June 14, 2017:
- The region adopts the goal of a fully restored, world class Metro system that is safe, efficiently managed in a fiscally responsible manner, and maintained in a state of good repair.
- Bridging the gap in WMATA’s long-term capital needs is the funding priority.
- The optimal way to address WMATA’s capital funding gap for state of good repair and critical capital needs is through a dedicated funding source or sources that are earmarked to WMATA, fully bondable at the highest possible financial rating, and enhances WMATA’s overall financial standing.
- WMATA’s operating and maintenance funding needs should be addressed through application of management best practices and reforms, as well as funds derived from increased ridership, before determining if there is a need for additional funding to fill any remaining gap in operating and maintenance funding needs.
- Local and state contributions for capital subsidies, as well as operating and maintenance subsidies, should be predictable with an annual growth rate of not more than three percent.
- The local jurisdictions, the states, the business community and additional stakeholders will collaborate to accomplish these goals by the start of WMATA’s Fiscal Year 2019.
- Enhancement and reform of WMATA’s governance and operations may be accomplished through agreements, policies, and legislative actions that optimally would be accomplished without reopening the WMATA compact at this time.
- We call on the federal government to recognize its fiscal responsibility to America’s transit system and the federal workforce utilizing the Metrorail system.